Beauty companies should focus on older women's desire to look good, not young

April 28, 2016

Beauty companies should focus on older women's desire to look good, not young.

Companies promoting beauty products should reconsider current methods when targeting older women as few claim to use cosmetic products to look younger. The majority say they use them to look good and feel confident.

This is one of the findings of a study by Dr Carolyn Mair and Soljana Cili, from the London College of Fashion, who will present their research this week at the British Psychological Society's 2016 Annual Conference in Nottingham.

Over 500 women (aged 40 - 89) took part in an online survey with questions on their use of make-up, how they viewed advertisements aimed at their age group, how they perceived advertising and the impact of this on their self-worth.

The results showed that 62 per cent used make-up daily and that only 3 per cent used it to look younger. The majority used it to look good (52 per cent) and feel confident (28 per cent). Generally the participants viewed their representation in advertising negatively with over a third saying it made them feel bad about their appearance and nearly half found it annoying.

Carolyn said: "Middle-aged and older women feel underrepresented or not represented realistically in the media which affects their confidence and feelings of self-worth. They also dislike the young, airbrushed, or cosmetically-altered models used as they struggle to relate to them and consequently, to the products.

"It would be a step in the right direction if advertisers could reconsider some of their marketing strategies and focus less on how a product makes a women look younger and more about how the product can make her feel good about herself. Using older models would also make these women feel valued and less invisible in Society."

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